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Author Topic: Installing Linux over ME, is it possible?  (Read 4140 times)

dantheman

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Installing Linux over ME, is it possible?
« on: February 18, 2010, 08:47:21 AM »
Hi,

Friends of mine have a computer with ME on it.
As you know, it is just awful.

Was thinking of installing Linux over it in the hopes that it would become more stable and secure.
Is it possible?

If so, will Linux recognize the CDRW and USB ports?
Also, the fact that it's on a network it would also need to install the HP Printer drive right?

Thanks for your comments!

Josh

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Re: Installing Linux over ME, is it possible?
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2010, 08:53:23 AM »
Be advised, installing Linux does not instantly make a computer more stable or secure. You have to configure it as such and make sure it is properly updated/patched (Just like Windows). Without proper patching a Linux system can actually be MORE insecure than a similar Windows system because of what you can do from the Linux command line.

Also be sure the user knows what they are doing after you install it otherwise you will be supporting them with any issue they have. Linux should recognize the CD-RW Drive and USB ports fine, but then again each distro is different depending on what support is built into the kernel.

Just some food for thought.

dantheman

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Re: Installing Linux over ME, is it possible?
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2010, 10:10:25 AM »
Thanks Josh for writing in!

I presume keeping Linux isn't too hard (least i hope not)!

Keeping ME at par with AV/Antispyware programs is tough so i imagine that Linux is much more secure.

Josh

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Re: Installing Linux over ME, is it possible?
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2010, 11:02:22 AM »
I would really recommend sticking with Windows if you have absolutely no exposure to Linux. Linux, as I said, does not mean instant security and stability. There is a lot of things that you trade off from windows, and gain from linux on the flip side, when you switch. I would really recommend running a trial of it in a virtual machine or using a livecd before making the plunge. If you have time, you can go full in right off the start but remember to expect issues as you figure out how the system operates differently than Windows.

steeladept

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Re: Installing Linux over ME, is it possible?
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2010, 11:31:18 AM »
What distro were you considering?  Remember there are distros for every level of user and every level of support.  Some require you to have specific hardware because those vendors provide true open driver software - others don't care so much as long as they are available.  Also, make sure the software you/they want to use is available without too much of a learning curve.  Just because there is something out there that does the same (or nearly same) thing, doesn't mean it will be adopted by the end user.  A perfect example for me is GIMP vs. Photoshop.  I learned Photoshop for work, and now use it now and again because it is so powerful and useful when you need just the right tool.  Due to cost, I considered and tried GIMP; and while a knowledgeable person may be able to produce comparable output, I couldn't get far enough into using it (without screwing it up so bad I had to start over) to make it useful to me at all.

Dormouse

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Re: Installing Linux over ME, is it possible?
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2010, 08:41:22 PM »
In my experience, inexperienced users get on fine with Linux unless there are setup problems (at least so long as they don't get confused by having to use Windows a lot in another environment).

But the critical issue is knowing what they do, and want to do, on a computer and what software they currently use. If they are running Me, it should be easy enough to find better programs than they have now but you need to work out what the options are. And that will guide you towards a choice of distros. I would agree with the suggestion of starting with LiveCDs.

cranioscopical

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Re: Installing Linux over ME, is it possible?
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2010, 10:14:46 PM »
If it was, then most corporations, governments, and universities wouldn't be running it.
Was there a "down" missing from the end of that sentence?  ;)

Edvard

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Re: Installing Linux over ME, is it possible?
« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2010, 06:45:58 AM »
Hi,

Friends of mine have a computer with ME on it.
As you know, it is just awful.

Was thinking of installing Linux over it in the hopes that it would become more stable and secure.
Is it possible?
Yes.
Quote
If so, will Linux recognize the CDRW and USB ports?
Also, the fact that it's on a network it would also need to install the HP Printer drive right?
Yes.
Quote

Thanks for your comments!
You're welcome.

Listen, Linux is an OS, it can be unstable and insecure if you do unwise things with it like with ANY other OS.
What some people mistakenly call "more secure" is simply being NOT vulnerable to the standard Windows-specific exploits.

Now, if you consider your friend to be intelligent, good at helping himself and adventurous, hell... WHY NOT?!?!
Go ahead and slap a Linux on there and give it a go!
You could listen to all the "Linux is Scary" advice in the world, but you'll never know until you try it.
Almost every Linux user in the world started out wondering if it was possible (myself included), and here we are, threatening the folks in Redmond with less than 5% market share.
 :-\

Come on, you only live once...  8)

dantheman

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Re: Installing Linux over ME, is it possible?
« Reply #8 on: February 20, 2010, 07:00:04 AM »
Thanks again folks for your input!  :Thmbsup:

The liveCD suggestion has been retained and when i get a chance i'll give it a spin.

Then we'll take it from there.

Many programs no longer work with ME so the LINUX option will be an interesting one to consider if and when re-installation time comes around.

I don't mind giving tips to people who work with more "recent" OS like XP, but ME isn't really my cup of tea.

Josh

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Re: Installing Linux over ME, is it possible?
« Reply #9 on: February 20, 2010, 07:39:09 AM »
Please do not take my comments as attempts to be purely negative towards Linux. I just do not like people going into Linux thinking "Oh, this will be so much more stable and secure, it's Linux!". As said above, Linux shares its own series of vulnerabilities, problems and issues. It's a matter of trade offs.

As said above, if the user is knowledgeable and willing to work with the OS and learn it, then yes they will likely enjoy it. The problem is that they have to realize this IS NOT Windows and as such will require some work to get running the way you like it. And like Windows, you will have to ensure it is patched and updated regularly as Linux provides updates for thousands of different libraries and modules used by other programs.

Linux is a great OS, I just do not like people instantly touting it as "More secure and stable" out of the box. Like Windows, it is what you make of it. So yes, if you are willing to work with it, dive right in but expect to get your feet wet at times when issues creep up.

dantheman

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Re: Installing Linux over ME, is it possible?
« Reply #10 on: February 20, 2010, 07:43:22 AM »
Josh, i understand your point of view and it is good to be aware of these things.

After testing with a LiveCD, i'll be able to see with my own eyes if the desktop becomes more stable or not. As you know, crashing issues abound with ME and a Linux OS seems to be the only door to take at present time.

BTW, if someone has a similar experience, could they suggest the best free Linux version to try?
« Last Edit: February 20, 2010, 07:45:56 AM by dantheman »

Josh

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Re: Installing Linux over ME, is it possible?
« Reply #11 on: February 20, 2010, 07:51:55 AM »
Also, a LiveCD might not give you the full experience but it is good to get a taste of what Linux can offer you on the system. Only doing a full install will let you experience everything. Running it for a week to a month will give you a good picture of how your system will handle.

Bamse

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Re: Installing Linux over ME, is it possible?
« Reply #12 on: February 20, 2010, 12:00:42 PM »
May be you can use UNetbootin when hunting down the perfect Linux version http://unetbootin.sourceforge.net/ Lets you use usb key as a cd. Much easier and go crazy ;)

If computer is very old and slow may be look up Puppylinux. One of the minimalistic distros. I find it harder to use and not really easier. If decent specs I would use Ubuntu or Linux Mint. Ubuntu is easy and popular, Mint is a tweaked Ubuntu and even easier for Windows converts (from XP/Vista!). Is more or less ready to go from boot up. There are several versions, just use std. the one you get when clicking "direct download" from here

Another benefit of not going Ubuntu is it could be easier to find solutions and answers. Mint has own forum which is pretty big but nothing compared to Ubuntu. Having good sources for info is very important. If you had a friend who knew all about Mandriva then you should use Mandriva. Linux is mostly variations of the same so no big deal what you use. Just go for the most user friendly and what feels right. Fire up UNetbootin and test a couple. Even if some hardware part does not work out of the box it does not mean there are no workarounds. Where help kicks in. As said you will need to understand and learn a few things but most is really basic if you know Windows already. Not so sure about Puppylinux but the most popular distros are certainly not for geeks only, target is everyone :) As long as hardware works it is a click, click experience for the most part. Since ME is previous experience it can't go wrong.

Are you sure cpu fan is not full of dust and so overheating? Better check hardware before fighting Linux as well.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2010, 12:04:30 PM by Bamse »

dantheman

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Re: Installing Linux over ME, is it possible?
« Reply #13 on: February 21, 2010, 09:23:48 AM »
With DeepBurner i was able to make a good ISO copy of LinuxMint.
Although it failed to recognize my external monitor, it worked fine on my XP.
Much slower on ME (need a bit more RAM but do have minimum required) though.
I presume that a "hard" installation will make a big difference.

@Bamse,

Thanks for the reminder about CPU bit.
I usually try to remember to open and clean everything at least once a year.